The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Sam Lafferty.
In preparation for the start of the 2023-24 NHL regular season, the Toronto Maple Leafs still had some unfinished business left to do, and that was to get themselves cap-compliant. In doing so, versatile forward Sam Lafferty became the first domino to fall.
On Sunday, the Leafs traded Lafferty to the Vancouver Canucks for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. In a corresponding move, the Canucks waived Jack Studnicka on Sunday to make room for the addition of Lafferty to their lineup.
Considering that many teams already knew the Leafs would be in action to move players to get themselves under the salary cap in the coming days, Leafs GM Brad Treliving did well in recouping an asset for a solid NHL player in Lafferty, as they could have ended up losing him for nothing.
Lafferty was acquired by the Leafs along with Jake McCabe from the Chicago Blackhawks last season prior to the trade deadline in exchange for a conditional first-round pick in 2025, a second-round pick in 2026, along with forwards Joey Anderson and Pavel Gogolev.
Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Forward Sam Lafferty to the Vancouver Canucks in Exchange for a 2024 Fifth-Round Pick
Despite showing some offensive potential with the Blackhawks in 2022-23 with 10 goals and 11 assists in 51 games prior to the trade, he had less of an impact with the Leafs down the stretch, playing primarily in a bottom-six, penalty-killing role.
In 19 regular season games, Lafferty netted two goals and four assists, while adding another three points in nine playoff games in the Leafs’ second round exit in the hands of the Florida Panthers.
Lafferty carried a cap-hit of $1.15 million heading into the 2023-24 season and will most likely be replaced on the roster with a player or rookie making the league minimum of $750,000, thus saving the Leafs approximately $400,000 in cap space.
With about another $1.7 million and change left to whittle down before the season starts, the Leafs still have some work left to do before the NHL roster submission deadline on Monday at 5 pm.
As a result, in addition to the Lafferty trade, the Leafs also placed Martin Jones, Simon Benoit, William Lagesson, Dylan Gambrell, Kyle Clifford, and Maxime Lajoie on waivers on Sunday to further help alleviate some cap space as their final roster begins to take shape heading into the 2023-24 NHL regular season. (All stats from hockeydb.com and capfriendly.com)
Nevertheless, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the fans would like to thank Lafferty for his time and tenacious effort during his tenure with the team in helping them reach the playoffs and ultimately win a first round playoff matchup for the first time in two decades.
Here, we wish him all the best in his future endeavors with his new team.